June 28, 2011
The Supreme Court is to rule on whether a 220-year-old amendment to the U.S. Constitution prevents police from using 21st century tracking technology to keep tabs on criminal suspects.
The court said on Monday it would decide whether police need a warrant to use a global positioning system device to track a suspect’s movements in a case about privacy rights and new surveillance technology.
It agreed to hear an Obama administration appeal arguing that secretly attaching the tracking device to the suspect’s vehicle to monitor his movements did not violate his constitutional privacy rights.
The justices will consider a precedent-setting ruling by a U.S. appeals court that the police must obtain a warrant to use the GPS device for an extended period of time to covertly follow a suspect.